This guide outlines best practice for creating accessible PowerPoint presentations. In the UK around 2 million people have sight loss. A visual impairment could be sensitivity to light, blurred vision or blindness. So please don’t think that because you don’t have a colleague with a guide dog that this isn’t relevant to you. It is! Video calling and webinars are the new norm so accessibility should be a priority rather than an afterthought.

Imagine presenting to an audience, or at a job interview only to discover those you need to impress can’t understand your slides. It’s not a good first impression, especially if equality and inclusion are values your employer actively promotes.

Good Practice

Lots of people who are visually impaired will be able to read your slides without using any specialist software IF you make some subtle and simple changes.  Use these points when creating accessible PowerPoint presentations.

  1. Use PowerPoint’s inbuilt accessibility checker. It’s super easy to use and will quickly highlight accessibility issues.
  1. Have a sufficient colour contrast between the text and the background so that people with low vision can see the content. A dark font on a light background often works best and avoid a pure white background.
  1. Choose your fonts carefully. Sans Serif typeface is best and should be font size 24 or above (larger for titles).

Creating Accessible PowerPoint Presentations - a yellow background with Sans Serif minimum 24 written in black

  1. Some people will find reading italic and underlined text difficult so keep these to a minimum if you must use them.
  1. Make sure that you are not using colour alone to convey information. It can be useful to select greyscale from the view tab and scan your slides for occurrences of colour coding.
  1. Avoid busy backgrounds and keep ample ‘white space’ between sentences and paragraphs.
  1. Avoid using animations and sounds if it’s not vital to the presentation because they are distracting.

More Insights

Whilst not exhaustive these tips are a good starting point. Every month we add new articles to this site ranging from ‘How To’ practical instructions to insightful interviews.

Please contact us if you’d like to chat about working together to make your organisation accessible for all. We offer accessibility audits, disability awareness training, British Sign Language Lessons and much more.

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